Charles William Eliot


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president of Harvard (1869–1909), made the university the leading American institution of higher learning through his improvement of the graduate and professional schools, the distinguished scholars he attracted, the raising of undergraduate standards, and such reforms as the “elective system.” After his resignation, he interested himself in civil service reform, peace organizations, and public affairs. He edited The Harvard Classics (1910), a 50-volume selection from world literature, popularly known as “Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books,” for self-education of persons without college training. His books include The Religion of the Future (1909) and The Durable Satisfactions of Life (1910).

Subjects: Literature — United States History.

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